What are the latest COVID-19 variants? How is a colonoscopy conducted? What are the side effects of anti-anxiety drugs?

Find out answers to these medical questions and more in the Gale Health and Wellness database.

State Library Victoria members can access hundreds of databases from home (if your home is in Victoria). That’s millions of articles, magazines, archives, ebooks, videos, songs, audiobooks and more, available through the catalogue anytime. We’re taking a closer look at new and/or interesting databases as well as hidden gems from our collections. Read on for top picks and tips from Librarians.

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Today we’re looking at Gale Health and Wellness.

Screenshot showing the Gale Health and Wellness database heading and search box, next to illustration of red heart glowing inside rib cage.

What makes this database so great?

The Gale Health and Wellness database offers a comprehensive range of articles, news and statistics about health, medicine and wellness. This includes information about alternative and holistic medicine.

The database is a great way to obtain accurate, balanced and objective information to make informed opinions and decisions about health-related issues. It is a useful resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about health issues and tips for improving wellbeing.

Authors of the content are experts in specialist fields of medicine and allied health, presenting information in a range of accessible formats including videos, public news updates and peer-reviewed research articles.

Information is updated regularly and available from a wide range of reliable sources, such as the World Health Organization, the Centre for Disease Control and John Hopkins University.

Search Functions

A list of topics can be browsed alphabetically or under category groups, such as diseases and conditions.

Search functions available include an Advanced Search page, which allows multiple terms to be searched in fields including keywords, subject, entire document and abstracts.

An Advanced Subject Guide Search offers search limiters such as full-text documents, peer-reviewed journals and documents that contain images.

Filters can also be applied to narrow down search results by publication dates and publication title.

A Publication Search function allows searches to be conducted by country of publication and language of publication. The search history is also recorded to revisit useful links.

Topic Finder

The Topic Finder search function depicts search terms in tile or wheel visualisations that are interactive. Search terms entered help you discover new connections to related information about the topic subcategories. This short video demonstrates how to use this exploratory tool.

Some Highlights

Up-to-date information about COVID-19

Gale Health and Wellness provides trustworthy, authoritative facts about COVID-19, including:

  • Statistical data on the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Recent surges around the world
  • The emergence of new variants
  • Recommendations for COVID-19 prevention, including vaccines, personal measures and masks
  • The different types of vaccines are described, including investigational vaccines in the development stage
  • Complications and controversies are covered, discussing issues such as vaccine hesitancy and adverse effects
  • Causes and symptoms of long COVID

Mental Health

Woman meditating, sitting in yoga pose on green lawn.
Meditation (Image by Benjamin Child, in the Public Domain CCO on Unsplash)

Gale Health and Wellness provides helpful information about mental health, with resources written by specialist health professionals.

Sections are dedicated to:

  • The effect mental health has on overall health
  • Promoting positive mental health
  • Mental health warning signs
  • Mental health disorders (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder)

The database offers a broad range of resources related to mental health. Categories cover more than 50 topics, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Healthy relationships
  • Teens and depression
  • Anger management
  • Phobias
  • Meditation

Diagnostics and Tests

Detailed information about diagnostics and tests is provided from resource categories such as news items, magazines, academic journals and images (e.g. ultrasound imaging). 

The individual diagnostic descriptions offer help in understanding why specialist tests are conducted and what is involved with particular diagnostic procedures.

A comprehensive list of medical diagnostics and tests is provided, including:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Electrocardiography
  • Antenatal testing
  • Skin biopsy


white pills scattered
Medication (Image by James Yarema, in the Public Domain CCO on Unsplash)

Gale Health and Wellness offers an alphabetised list of drugs for various conditions.

Section subheadings cover when to take the drugs, how to take the drugs and risks associated with the drugs.

This information is useful to research different pharmaceutical products and understand why particular drugs may be prescribed.

Examples of drug categories covered:

  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • Club drugs
  • Drugs used in labour
  • Medical marijuana
  • Opioids
  • Steroids
  • Weight-loss drugs

Therapies, Treatments and Surgeries

applying bandage to finger
Application of bandage (Image by Diana Polekhina, in the Public Domain CCO on Unsplash)

Descriptions are provided for more than 70 different types of therapies, treatments and surgeries.

Content sources range from academic articles to audio and video files. These resources are useful for people wanting to learn more about which therapies, treatments and surgeries are recommended for different conditions, and how different treatments are conducted.

Therapies, treatments and surgeries covered include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Healthy-heart diets
  • Kidney dialysis

We hope you enjoy exploring Gale Health and Wellness.

For more information about other health-related resources at State Library Victoria, visit the Library’s Health and Medical Information research guide.

We always welcome your recommendations for database trials  – let us know what you’d like to see.  Have a research query or questions on how to use our online collections? Ask a Librarian.

Image credits: All images taken from Unsplash

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